"Leslie Lewis et Gérard Hagen" Bonjour de Paris 22 Septembre 2019
Bonjour de Paris ...
It is September in Paris. That means that it is "la rentrée" which for families with school age children means get ready for the school year and get back to work after summer vacations. For us preparing for my teaching during the fall trimester at IMEP is as close as we get to that experience. La rentrée also means that normal life in Paris resumes after the summer break. The city is again full of Parisiens who now outnumber the tourists. The stores, restaurants, clubs etc. are open and crowded and there is a bit more energy in the air. The weather is perhaps the best it will be all year with the sun thankfully keeping the temperature moderate after the August heat. Soon it will be cloudy and rainy but it's best not to think about that so we can enjoy the rest of September.
This summer was probably the closest we have come to having the traditional French summer. In July we traveled to Italy for a week vacation and with the exception of Leslie making an over night trip to work with Philippe Martel's trio, the rest of the month was spent working in and around Paris. We spent most of August vacationing away from Paris with the exception of a couple nights when I was back in Paris to play solo at the Hotel Lutetia. It took seven years but we finally experienced a French summer holiday!
We have both found the time off from performing to be restorative. I was able to work on some repertoire while we were away in August. My playing on my solo dates as well as my work with Leslie feels more free and I am enjoying performing more now that I had before. I know that having that much time away from work was really good for Leslie. Since her instrument is her body, being able to rest her voice and relax for an extended period of time was just what she needed. This month she was invited to perform two dates with Philippe Duchemin's trio. One was in Cherbourg and the other near Avignon. We did a duo date at the Qatar Embassy, and had gigs in two new clubs as well as our normal monthly Paris dates. Leslie was scheduled to play two nights next weekend at Jazz Cafe Montparnasse with Rhoda Scott but the club has been closed for renovation and they of course didn't get the work finished in time so those dates are canceled leaving us with an unexpected hole in our calendar. On the plus side, that gives us some free time to see our friends Clifford and Lydia who are on one of their bi-yearly visits to Paris. Finally I am happy to say that I will be playing solo at Hotel Lutetia in October. https://www.hotellutetia.com/bar-josephine
Classes begin next week at the college. During last week's faculty meeting I learned that I will have the same teaching load as last year. So my days of summer are long gone and it's back to work. https://www.imep.pro/en/
View of the beach in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, France.
Evening in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, France.
Gerard, Leslie and Peter Giron (The Band) in Saint Sebastien, Spain.
Church in Saint Sebastien, Spain.
Sunday afternoon in Saint Sebastien, Spain.
Hossegor Beach, France.
Nicole Giron, Leslie & Gerard at Hossegor Beach, France.
Restaurant at Hossegor Beach, it looks like a dump but we had a great lunch there.
Leslie and I spent a few days in Saint-Jean-de-Luz with our friends Peter and Nicole Giron. It is a small village on the Atlantic ocean in Basque country very near the Spanish border. It is not far from Biarritz, France and it is also very near to Saint Sebastien, Spain. We were able to spend time exploring the area. The last time we were there, we discovered a beautiful restaurant on the water in Bidart, France. Luckily they were able to squeeze us in on what was a very busy Saturday night and we enjoyed a wonderful dinner together. Leslie and I keep fantasizing about moving down there so that we can be near the sea and enjoy more sunny days.
In the next few months we will be going to Berlin, Minsk, Belarus and Riga, Latvia. It looks like we will be in Madrid right before Christmas and we will end the year with our week long residency at Chez Papa Jazz Club in Paris culminating with a New Years Eve concert there. http://www.papajazzclub-paris.fr
This should have been included in last month's news but better late that never. Maureen and John Vastardis have been friends with Leslie for many, many years. Fortunately they travel quite a bit so occasionally we see them in Europe or when we are in California. Maureen is a very accomplished photographer and has several photos being shown in exhibits in CA. So if you are near that area you may see her work at The Front Porch Gallery Carlsbad, CA. (Aug. 25- Nov. 24) and the Oceanside Museum of Art (Aug. 31 - Nov. 2).